That world is covered in spiritual darkness. Four billion people out of the 6.9 billion on this planet never heard the good news of Jesus, and are separated from Him by spiritual darkness, and even in some cases, deep deception. I have listed the reasons that compel me to go, and why I ask others to do the same, below.
However, these reasons will remain just one more list of things we "ought to do" someday, unless we submit our inner motivations to Jesus. May I request that you join me in thinking for a few moments about our reasons to make Jesus known to others? Would you please ask the Lord to speak to your heart as you read through this list?
At the end of time people will gather from every tribe and tongue and nation around the throne of God to honor the Lamb of God, all worshipping in their redeemed cultures. They will gather joyously around the throne of God and celebrate the victory He has won on their behalf. The One who died a shameful death to redeem the peoples of the earth will be the object of honor and praise for all eternity. All of history will be consummated in the praise of the One who gave Himself for us. He died to make us a kingdom of priests. He set us free from religion and fear and superstition so we might freely enter His throne room of grace. Everything is headed for that day. All we do that has meaning will find its fulfillment at that celebration. May it come quickly, Lord Jesus! This is the mission of God, and that is the mission of the church of God. The church's ultimate purpose is not the programs we offer to people or the missionary outreaches we do, or our budgets or faith giving, our missionaries dressed in strange costumes, not even about the lost people or the needs of hurting millions. It is about Jesus, the Lion who became a Lamb, the Redeemer of the all peoples, the Savior of the world. He is our great goal. It is for Him. We go to others so Jesus will receive the just reward of His suffering.
Most of earth's population will spend eternity separated from God if they do not have a chance to hear the Good News of God's salvation. Eternity is real, and though many people believe theoretically in hell, they don't really believe that a “good God will send people to hell.” May God impress deeply on our hears the terrible reality of man's lostness without a savior. Men and women need forgiveness of sins. There is no other way for that to happen than Jesus. It is by hearing, believing and calling on His name that people are rescued from a certain, eternal, separation from God.
We can easily become immune to the horrendous suffering of the victims of drought, famine, poverty and injustice. It is only by the grace of God than our hearts can be filled with the compassion of Jesus. The Bible says that when Jesus looked upon the crowds, He had compassion. May we have the same response, whether it be to a neighbor in need, a child's face in a Christian advertisement, or a news broadcast from the Horn of Africa. We know the statistics, we hear and see the faces, may we now become hardened to their plight. There are only two ways to maintain genuine compassion: getting involved with the poor, and maintaining a lifestyle of personal devotion and prayer for the poor.
Jesus commanded us to go, and go means a change of location. We have been commissioned to go, teach, baptize and make disciples. There are people waiting for us to obey, whether it be the villages of North Africa or the mountains of Tibet. They wait for our obedience. The issue is not whether or not we are called. All are called. All are commissioned. It is a matter of location, of those in the church will join with God in sacrificial obedience. Willing hearts hear His voice. The Lord Jesus said to His disciples, "As the Father sent me, so send I you..."
Without a vision greater than the pleasures of our culture and the comforts of life, we will perish. By joining God on mission, we find a vision worth dying for and worth living for. It is not enough to send our money, because money does not have to lay down rights, weep, or give itself. It is not enough to send native workers, because native workers cannot pray, love and disciple in our place. God uses people to reach people. He uses people to encourage faint hearts. If for no other reason, we must go for our sakes. If not, we will surely perish. For the sake of the church we must give our very best, lest we die from lack of sacrifice, from lack of personal involvement. If we will not, we will perish.
The highest motivation for preaching the gospel is not what lost or needy people receive from our efforts, but what God receives from our love for Him. Joining God’s mission is first and foremost about God. He created the nations to seek after Him and find Him (Acts 17:24-26). He brought them into existence so they might find their satisfaction in their Creator (Revelation 4:11). The Father is waiting. He longs for the worship and obedience of His creation. He made the nations. He made them for a purpose. Like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, God is yearning for the peoples of the earth to come home to Him.
We are living in the time of the greatest revival in the history of the church. There have been times in church history when the Spirit has moved on one continent, and then other times when the Spirit has moved on another continent. What is unusual about this period of history is that the Spirit of God is bringing millions of people to Himself, simultaneously, on every continent. The church is growing mightily in China, Indonesia, India, Korea, Latin America, Africa -literally all over the world. God brought down the Berlin wall, and the communist governments of Eastern Europe, and now His Spirit is tearing down walls of fear and cultural separation that hide Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists from Jesus. It’s God's gracious invitation and the Church’s sacred privilege to participate in this unprecedented move of the Holy Spirit. Who would want to miss out on what our Father is doing on the earth?
God has chosen this time to gather people from all the peoples of the earth in a way He has never done before. It is the will of God for the Church to be part of what Father is doing. The Church is what God is doing; He is raising up a people for Himself from among all the peoples of the earth.